Tag Archive for 'green'

Press Release – O’Gorman addresses Green Party National Conference – calls on local authorities to make cycling a genuinely safe option

Roderic O'Gorman addressing the Green Party National Convention, March 09

Roderic O'Gorman addressing the Green Party National Convention, March 09

09/03/09

Green Party Castleknock ward candidate, Roderic O’Gorman has called on the four local authorities across Dublin to work together to make cycling a genuinely safe option. He made the call in his speech to the Green Party National Convention this weekend.

One of the most ambitious goals of the recent Sustainable Transport strategy was the aim to get 200,000 people out of their cars and cycling by 2020.

At a national level, the Government is playing its part through the Bike Scheme tax break and investment in cycle lanes.

But, speaking as someone who has recently taken up cycling, I don’t believe we are going to achieve this goal until cycling considered a genuinely safe option.

And I believe that it is a responsibility, but also a real opportunity, for local councils to make cycling genuinely safe.

Local authorities are in the best position to identify and remedy danger spots for cyclists.

Local authorities are best placed to plan and implement safe route to school schemes for the primary schools in their area.

Working together under the guidance of the Dublin Transport Authority, the local authorities can come together and devise cycle routes that will cross the entire city, and link surrounding counties.

We can make cycling a genuinely safe option, and the first step is to elect myself and my colleagues to city and county councils this June.

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Further Information
Roderic O’Gorman: 087 4179777

High resolution pictures of Roderic are available at:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/rodericogorman/

Press Release – New green-bin service represents a major improvements for Dublin 15 householders – O’Gorman

05/01/09

Green Party Castleknock ward candidate, Roderic O’Gorman has welcomed the announcement that Greyhound Recycling has taken over the green-bin recycling service on behalf of Fingal County Council and the other Dublin local authorities.

“I’m very pleased to see that Greyhound Recycling has been awarded the contract to operate green bins for Fingal County Council for the next three years. In particular, it’s great news that the new service will take all plastics within the green bin. Up to now, only certain plastic containers could be put into the green bin. From now on, all clear plastic will be able to go into the green bin”, stated Roderic O’Gorman.

“The fact that the green bin could only take a limited range of plastics was one of the main criticisms I have heard about the green bin system from residents of Dublin 15. I’m pleased that this issue is going to be resolved satisfactorily by Greyhound”.

“Another key issue that Greyhound will have to focus on is the overall customer service they provide. In the last six months, I have received numerous complaints from people dissatisfied with the collection service being run by Oxigen, the former operators. These complaints related mainly to green bins not being collected on the appropriate day, and problems with the call-back service. I hope that Greyhound will be more responsive to the needs of householders and I will be pursuing this issue with them if similar problems arise”, concluded Roderic O’Gorman.

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Further Information
Roderic O’Gorman: 087 4179777
www.greenbin.ie

Getting passed the spin – the Green Party position on civil partnerships

On Wednesday last, the Cabinet (including Green Party Ministers) made a historic decision and gave the go ahead for legislation to be drafted to provide for civil partnerships, on the basis of the recommendations contained in the Colley Report. The outline of this legislation will be seen before the end of March next year.

There’s been a lot of controversy over the last few days about the Green Party and our position on same-sex marriage/civil partnerships etc. I’m going to try and clear up some of the spin that’s been going around.

– In 2006, the Green Party passed a Marriage & Partnership Rights Policy, which I helped draft. It stated our belief full access to civil marriage for same-sex couples was the only way of achieving full equality. This continues to be Green Party policy – full equality will only be achieved when same-sex couples are allowed civil marriage.

– In 2007, we supported the Labour Party Civil Unions Bill. During the debate, our spokesperson, Ciaran Cuffe made the point that while we were supportive of the bill, we did not see the Labour Party proposals on civil unions as going far enough and that we supported full access to same-sex marriage. At the time, the then Minister for Justice, Michael McDowell, spoke about creating protections for same-sex couples, but also for non-married heterosexual couples and indeed, for those living together in non-sexual relationships – two spinster brothers etc.

– McDowell set up a body of experts to look at the options for dealing with same-sex relationships – the Colley Group. In its report, the Colley Group made a number of recommendations including forms of full and partial civil partnership for same-sex couples.

– After the General Election, we entered negotiations with Fianna Fail. Our team, led by John Gormley, requested that the Programme for Government include a commitment to legislating for same-sex marriage. Fianna Fail flatly refused to do this.

– In light of this, John Gormley demanded that the Programme for Government include a commitment to legislate for civil partnerships. In light of this, the following was included in the Programme for Government “Taking account of the options paper prepared by the Colley Group and the pending Supreme Court case, we will legislate for Civil Partnerships at the earliest possible date in the lifetime of the Government”.

– During the summer, Green Party representatives were in negotiations with the Minister for Justice over how to proceed on the issue as quickly as possible.

– The Government’s ‘Legislative Programme’ for this year contained a proposal for a bill on Domestic Partnerships which would “provide for certain legal recognitions of persons (cohabitants, same-sex couples and others) in domestic relationships”. The bill falls within the responsibility of the Minister for Justice, Brian Lenihan.

– Last week, it was announced that the Labour Party were reintroducing their Civil Unions bill.

The Green Party were unhappy with aspects of the proposed Domestic Partnerships bill. It was felt that it did not go far enough in achieving the commitment to legislating for Civil Partnerships in the Programme for Government. As a result of negotiations between the Green Party and the Dept Justice, it was agreed that the title of the bill would be changed to the Civil Partnership Bill. Further, the bill is to deal solely with creating civil partnerships for same-sex couples based on the options presented by the Colley Repo, along with a method by which same-sex or heterosexual couples in dependant relationships can seek redress in the event of their relationship breaking up or one party dying.

The Civil Partnership Bill will not be providing for a new registration scheme for heterosexual couples.

The Civil Partnership Bill will not result in a same-sex couples being treated the same as two brothers living together etc.

Minister Lenihan has committed to bringing the heads of this bill to Cabinet by the end of March next year. After this, a full bill will be laid before the Dail and will be passed in the lifetime of the current Government.

Minister Lenihan was concerned that the Labour Party bill was unconstitutional, and that it risked being struck down by the Supreme Court. If this had happened, the entire process of creating a bill would have to have been started again. There would have been a real possibility that the bill would not have been passed before the next General Election.

In light of his commitment to legislate for Civil Partnerships based on the Colley Report in the lifetime of this Dail, the Green Party voted with the Government against the Labour bill.
If we had voted against the Labour bill, it would have meant the end or our participation in government, and there would have been no pressure on Fianna Fail to legislate for civil partnerships.

As someone who, along with my partner, hopes to enjoy the benefits of a civil partnership, I’m very pleased with the progress that the Green Party has made on this issue. Fianna Fail has accepted the principle that gay and lesbian couples must be protected, and that this protection should be in line with what was proposed in the Colley Report.

Like Katherine Zappone and Anne-Louise Gilligan, I and the Green Party believe that true equality will only come when we are given full access to civil marriage. The bill being proposed by the Government won’t do this – neither would the Labour Party bill. However, what civil partnerships will allow for is protection of important aspects of our relationships, while we continue to fight for complete equality.

Press Release – O’Gorman welcomes commitment to legislate for civil partnerships

01/11/07

Green Party Dublin 15 representative, Roderic O’Gorman, has welcomed the commitment from the Minister for Justice, Brian Lenihan, to bring forward the heads of a bill on civil partnerships for same-sex couples by March of next year.

“I warmly welcome this commitment from the Minister for Justice. Ensuring that civil partnerships for same-sex couples were created during the life time of this Dail was one of the key aspects of the Programme for Government that they Green Party secured. Not only have we persuaded Fianna Fail of the need to create civil partnerships for same-sex couples, but these civil partnerships will be based on the recommendations of the Colley Group, which was set up to outline the best ways of protecting gay and lesbian relationships”, stated Roderic O’Gorman

O’Gorman also praised the Labour Party for bringing forward a bill on civil unions in the Dail during the week.

“During the week the Dail debated a Labour Party bill dealing with the issue of civil unions. While there were many positive aspects to this bill, the Minister for Justice judged it to be at risk of being found unconstitutional by the Supreme Court. Had the Labour bill been passed and later, found unconstitutional, that would have set the entire process of achieving civil partnerships back by years. In light of this risk and the commitment by the Minister for Justice to rapidly bring forward legislation on civil partnerships, the Green Party voted against the Labour bill. We have received some criticism for doing this, but as someone who along with my partner, would hope to enjoy the benefits of civil partnerships as soon as possible, I would rather the Government acted cautiously and brought forward its own legislation that is not at risk of being struck down by the Supreme Court. I would view providing protection for same-sex couples as too important an issue to take chances with”, concluded Roderic O’Gorman.

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